Follow Rize Education on LinkedIn

Leveraging Technology to Support Student Success

Alessandra Lopez
March 15, 2024
5 mins

Our mission to provide employment pathways for every student is supported by a variety of technologies that help guide, support, and empower students through each Rize course, as well as their broader educational journey. We analyze data from over 100 courses with over 10,000 registrations to provide personalized support that reliably increases student outcomes and course satisfaction.



Our team uses Tableau, a data visualization tool, to identify patterns in student performance. We also track average course grades, DFW rates (the percentage of students receiving a D, an F, or a withdrawal), and Student Satisfaction. We use this data to identify how and where to reach out to students and instructors to improve student outcomes. This data is also used by our instructional design team to improve courses for future terms.

We generate dashboards in Tableau to see if certain variables have different underlying effects. For instance, 8% of the variability in student satisfaction can be explained by the DFW rate. The DFW rate alone does not account for a large variability in the Net Promoter Score (the metric we use to measure student satisfaction), as other variables may influence a student’s satisfaction with their course including student engagement or preparedness, student perception of the course content, and corresponding desirable difficulties in the course. By considering these variables, we gain a more comprehensive understanding of the intricate factors that contribute to students' course experiences. The interplay between student preparedness, student engagement, and the perceived difficulty of the course material can affect both academic outcomes and student satisfaction levels.


To ensure that students get the personalized support they need to do well in their Rize course, we use Ribbon– a software tool tracking student performance, retention, and instructor communications. Ribbon can detect risk factors that were identified through Tableau analysis, such as students not engaging with course content or low grades, and then create personalized outreach to students. 

Instructor Support via Ribbon 

One of the many ways our instructors support our students is through Ribbon. Our instructors conduct Ribbon outreach during the following weeks –week 2, week 4, week 8, and week 10 for 14-week courses to all students who are flagged as “Attention Needed” by Ribbon. The software integrates with Canvas and students receive an email or a Canvas message from their instructor checking in on them. This is in addition to the normal ongoing communication touchpoints between instructors and students and ensures that students are proactively supported even if they do not self identify as needing support, whether they have any questions about assignments or are struggling with the course. 

Additional Student Support via Ribbon 

To supplement our instructor outreach, our team also conducts outreach in the weeks that our instructors do not. We categorize students requiring support into three main personas: 


Missing Work Persona: Using Ribbon, students are flagged as 'attention needed' when they have more than two missing assignments. This allows us to intervene and conduct outreach earlier before the student falls further behind in their coursework.


Low-Grade Student Persona: If a student is turning in work, but still receives a grade of <70%, we provide more personalized and targeted outreach to the student, including time management and study tips to promote active learning.


All students: On top of these personas, we also equip all Rize students with targeted outreach that aims to engage them earlier in their course experience. Our research indicates that the higher percentages of 'F' grades among students who were absent in the first 2 weeks (25.43% for "Absent in Week 1" and 44.19% for "Absent in Weeks 1 & 2") compared to those present (5.91% for "Present in Week 1" and 5.49% for "Present in Weeks 1 & 2") indicate a correlation between early absenteeism and poorer academic performance. For this reason, we conduct early outreach at the beginning of the academic semester so that students can meaningfully engage in their coursework.


Zendesk is our helpdesk platform to answer student, instructor, and registrar queries. We’ve recently rolled out a new feature – Zendesk chat. 

Seamless student experience: Students can now expect to see a chatbot pop-up in their Canvas instance, which can streamline communications between the student and our support team about technical challenges.  Student support is at the heart of what we do at Rize. 

Our median response time for the first resolution of a student ticket is 3 hours during the weekdays, and students can receive even faster response times once our support agent has been flagged online. The promptness of our response helps alleviate any friction that a student may experience – be it a technical difficulty with software they are using in their computer science course or even something as simple as helping them handle a forgotten password. Whenever a student encounters technical difficulties with their courses, they no longer need to send an email to support and can directly access the chat at the moment they need support. 


Rapid triage and escalation: This also enables more rapid triage and escalation of student issues to the broader Rize team—engineering, course instructional designers, or instructors—leading to shorter ticket times to resolution. Furthermore, the tagging and triage system we’ve implemented allows us to identify trends and turn inbound tickets into product iterations and feedback we can provide our product team for further course improvements.



In summary, we can harness data to proactively support students when they need it the most. Our team uses Tableau to identify students at risk in our courses. Once we’ve identified students who need support, our instructors use Ribbon to conduct targeted outreach, providing differentiated learner support. Finally, we use Zendesk chat as an all-encompassing helpdesk tool, which allows us to tag and triage tickets to support students and administrators. The data insights we gather are further leveraged into future course iterations and improvements.

Ready to learn more?

Fill out the form below and someone from our Academic Partnerships team will be in touch with you shortly.